What Is A Square In Astrology? Meaning And Effects

While the square in astrology is considered a negative aspect, having them in your birth chart doesn't mean you're doomed.

square aspect Jessica Aceret, Dan Hussey and sparklestroke via Canva

There are five major aspects in astrology that one needs to look out for when reading an astrology chart. They are the conjunction, square, opposition, sextile, and trine.

And while the sextile and trine aspects are always beneficial, and the conjunction and opposition aspects are sometimes beneficial and other times harmful, the square is always a negative aspect when found in one's natal chart or in a synastry chart.


What is a square in astrology?

When two planets or points in an astrology chart are 90 degrees apart from each other, the aspect created between them is called a square.

Such connections always happen in incongruent zodiac signs, but they always share the same modality. For example, Cancer and Libra are 90 degrees apart from each other on the zodiac wheel, forming a square. Cancer is a water sign while Libra is an air sign, but both are cardinal signs. This means every zodiac sign can form a square with two other zodiacs 90 degrees apart from it. But it will always form an opposition with the last sign within the same modality group: cardinal, fixed, or mutable.


This is the reason why the square aspect is negative in astrology. The planets and points interacting with each other in a square never see eye to eye because of their incompatible zodiac elements. But because they have the same mode, they always find themselves in a stalemate unable to “win” against the other.

In a natal chart, the presence of a square reveals an internal conflict regarding those aspects of life.

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For example, if you have Mercury in Pisces forming a square aspect with your Sun in Gemini, the way your mind and intelligence work will always be inconvenient for the goals you wish to achieve in life. Your Gemini Sun's desires to be a part of a social network will get thwarted by your Pisces Mercury's habit of engaging people in too-deep conversations about life and spirituality, even though you have just met them a few seconds ago, thus getting you cast as “the weirdo” by the group.

The same is observed in synastry readings between two people. For example, Mars square Pluto synastry reveals a dead-locked relationship that's full of power struggles with both people trying to conquer the other in the relationship and neither ever succeeding.

Ultimately though, if you have a square aspect in your birth chart or in your synastry chart with someone else, the thing you should remember is that the only way to counter this aspect is for both energies to meet halfway and somehow figure out a way to make it work.

You'll still feel like a clown half the time. But in time the energies will lean into the shared modality and take it from there.


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Special square formations in astrology

The square aspect in astrology can sometimes give rise to two special configurations in an astrology chart. The first is a T-square and the second is called a Grand Cross.

The T-square is an aspect formed between three planets or points where two are opposite one another while the third forms a square aspect with both on either side.

For example, a Taurus Moon, Scorpio Venus and Leo Mercury form a T-square that becomes a hot mess of unfulfilled desires and biting discomfort internally. The Moon wants to stay safe and be stable, the Venus wants to run after bad boys, and the Leo wants to be a megastar billionaire. Both the Moon and Venus in this case are embarrassed by Mercury's secret desires. So they try to distract themselves from pursuing such a grand dream by fighting amongst each other over whether they should settle down with a nice boy or experience a once-in-a-lifetime kind of romance. But there's no escaping the Leo Mercury. And so the T-square ultimately makes the three decide that it's best if they settle down with a bad boy billionaire like Christian Grey from “Fifty Shades of Grey,” because of course that's realistic!


The other rare square configuration is a Grand Cross (or Grand Square). In this aspect, four planets and/or points of the same modality find themselves locked in a dance of two oppositions and four squares.

For example, an Aries Sun, a Cancer Venus, a Libra Jupiter, and a Capricorn North Node. The Aries Sun wants to be independent, self-reliant, and successful, preferably as a pioneer or number one at something. But the Cancer Venus wants to be taken care of and build a nurturing home with a comforting partner one day. The Jupiter in Libra is convinced they need partners to make a fortune. And the Capricorn North Node wants to be the big boss one day but is too scared to go after that dream.

Most of the time, people with a Grand Cross just get stuck in the war between the four planets and points. It's worse than a stalemate. It's total stagnation. But sometimes — as in the example above — if the individual is smart enough (and lucky enough), they go on to start a business (Aries Sun) with their loving spouse (Cancer Venus), where they become the face of the brand and it's driving force and then get some good investors on board without selling out too much equity (Libra Jupiter), before edging towards total market domination (Capricorn North Node). What a dream!


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Valeria Black is a tarot reader and astrology nerd with a dash of wicked humor on the side. Follow her on Instagram @queen.of.vands for more.